Here ends Chapter 4! Next up, Chapter 5 will begin: “Beaverton’s Book.”


Wow. You ‘quiet readers’ sure made a bit of noise on the last page!

THANK YOU. Next time the inevitable doubts come pouncing on me, I can go look at the comments on page 065. But as America’s court jester Jon Stewart said after getting his last Emmy Award, “being Jewish means I’ll find some way not to enjoy it.”

Anyway, dear quiet and not so quiet readers, friends and fellow Twainers, a couple things worth mentioning for your riverboating pleasure: just below the RSS link on the right is a new feature—you can get notified when a full chapter has posted (I know a few would rather read the story that way.) Also, the EXTRAS page is now rigged up, with a couple starter items. Various things will go there that might round out your time onboard the Lorelei.

Again, thank you—more than I can say.

* * *

Now, where were we?

Sailor Twain’s strange tale unfolds in the year 1887.

The year Marc Chagall was born, in faraway Russia.

That’s his “Sirène au poète,” which although far from the Hudson, in the sun-drenched city of Nice, France—has more than a few echoes to Twain in present scenes.

It’s a funny thing, once I started digging around in early stages of Twain research, I kept coming across mermaid references connected to the year 1887.

Above is Arnold Böcklin‘s strange, not so delicate looking creature. “Calm Sea” was painted in . . . 1887.

Below, something with a bit more real power…

This is from the great Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones. It’s called “Depths of the Sea.” Painted guess when—in 1887.

And for a little gem of a B-movie, have you seen She-Creature? It’s a mermaid story, starring Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino, surprisingly nicely plotted, and it’s set—if I remember correctly—in 1887.